"If only physician assisted suicide had been available to my father, as it is to the people of Oregon, I have no doubt he would have chosen it over taking a pistol to his head," says daughter of Lesley W. Angell (Angell 2). Angel suffered from prostate cancer for years, and eventually "it spread throughout his body driving him to commit suicide" (1). Having physician assisted suicide in the United States legal to terminally ill patients would make their deaths more peaceful and less painful for their families. Physician assisted suicide, also known as PAS, is a type of euthanasia that many physicians, patients, and families are in favor of.
Physician assisted suicide has been a very controversial subject for many years. Physician assisted suicide is when a drug is prescribed to a patient by a doctor and the patient takes it on his or her own (Roberts 23). PAS is both desirable and inevitable; not making it legal in some circumstances will force physicians and patients to do it illegally. Throughout history, many physicians have helped patients to die (McKahn 8). In most cases, the individuals want to die because they suffer from extreme medical conditions (Roberts 24). The pain just cannot be taken any longer. Dr. Charles F. McKahn, M.D. shares his feelings:
In one sense, all deaths are bad; most of us would like to live as long as possible if we could so on our terms, free if the physical and mental failures of old age and of serious prolonged suffering from disease. Because we have no control of any of these, we have every reason to look more closely at the actual circumstances of dying (16).
Quite frequently, patients suffer from terminal illnesses, such as cancer, AIDS, neurological diseases, organ failure, dementia, Huntington's disease, or old age (McKahn 16). People who suffer from these conditions should have better comfort care and assisted dying.
Though technology has brought many... [continues]
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